Tag Archives: feminism

Forgive them, for they know not what their faces looks like

I’ve always been fascinated by women who wear heavy, disfiguring makeup and have been beyond tempted to stop and ask questions, that is, to get an idea of what they see in the mirror.   Given the chance, and before the police arrive, I’d ask them about the thought process behind their remarkable cosmetic applications.  In addition to judging, I am sincerely curious about what motivates them to do this.

From my lofty perch, I wonder if these women are, or even can be, objective about the face they present to the world.  I reckon that they have a deficit of mature-stage self-awareness, and that this lacking must have a negative impact on super important stuff, like employment and relationships.

I was in Ulta recently, and was dumbstruck after catching sight of two sales women who had acted out, on their own persons, the grossly overdone foundation and contouring popular on Instagram and YouTube.  Their results had nothing to do with underlying skin tone or bone structure, sort of like this:

From Teen Moms 2


I concluded that they weren’t suffering from Low Self-Esteem, but rather the utter absence of self-awareness (what they see in the mirror versus what I see) and critical thinking skills (what makeup techniques may apply to them versus the InstaTubers).  I felt for them and their potential to survive in the wild.  Mostly I wanted to wash their faces.

During the exhausting television coverage of the presidential race, I also observed that some of the women – who were trying, with more or less success, to be taken seriously – were at the same time overly bronzed, contoured, baked, strobed, smoked and fleeked.

Katrina Pierson
Katrina Pierson
Scottie Hughes
Scottie Hughes






In fairness, and from my experience being up close to TV personalities, they often wear heavy foundation and eye makeup, that may or may not be applied by a professional, and may not, either way, look very good on camera or in person.  They might overcompensate for the sake of unforgiving high-definition cameras that highlight unfortunate practices like Failure to Blend.  And if you are a woman who cares more about the quality of the job you’re doing than how you look while doing it (unless those two things are one in the same), then it’s understandable when you would let yourself or someone else disfigure you with cosmetics.  But it still leaves me questioning the decision-making skills of the overdone.

You probably know someone who wears makeup in a way that you feel is too heavy or unflattering, leaving you wondering why.  Thoughts?

Less hope, more wisdom.


This girl set her make-up on fire …

Alicia Keys is a lot of things; singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress – a wildly successful and respected hit maker who recently made another kind of hit by beginning to appear in public without make-up.

In an article (“Time to Uncover“) for Lena Dunham’s online magazine, Lenny, Ms. Keys describes how her role in the #nomakeup movement began.  In a nutshell, make-up had been a chore that no longer felt necessary for the authentic Alicia.  I dig it.

Her message has rung true for thousands of women who have used the #nomakeup hashtag to show their faces in the raw.  I just checked Instagram and as of 10/3/16 at 2:30 p.m. EST, there were over 12 million posts.  Granted, some of them are of a) body parts, not faces; b) faces, but with make-up on; c) landscapes and d) dudes.  Still, nice going, ladies.

In addition to the large scale and enthusiastic support Ms. Keys has received, she has also been charged, by other women, of being, in various ways, inauthentic.

Most unscientific is the complaint that she can afford to buy beautiful skin.  Nope.  Beautiful skin is mostly heredity, and our habits – sun exposure and questionable enjoyments such as heavy drinking and smoking – determine the rest.  Come to think of it, I may be a poster child for how good genes trump beat years of extracurricular activities consistent with a rock and roll lifestyle.  If habits are everything, I should look like Yoda.  Thanks Dad.

From my experience, women know that they can look better by using a bit of make-up, and I maintain that it should take no longer for a woman to apply it than it takes a man to shave.  That’s my kind of feminism – equal output.

We spend far too much physical and emotional energy on how we look, and an obsessive concern can be a drain on our happiness and goals.   Expending a reasonable amount of time and money on style and grooming is about self-respect, while exhausting ourselves over our appearance is about exactly the opposite.  (Unless you’re Kim Kardashian; then it’s all business.)

What do you think?

Make-up stories from the Democratic National Convention

Because I’m based in Philadelphia, I was able to get up close and personal with some of the key players and willing participants who were here to take part in the events surrounding the DNC  – one for the her-story books.

First, I was hired to do make-up and hair for a senator, and the democratic party chair, from a mid-west state; this senator made history in her own ground-breaking way.  I’ll leave the rest to you and The Google.

Because discretion was required as per the client’s job description, I was left wondering about the double standard between men and women in public life.  Men who go on camera do get some make-up, usually to control discoloration and shine; if, however, they happen to wander (okay… blunder) past the make-up artist and straight onto camera, it’s unlikely that a hailstorm of tweets will come raining down about how bad or tired they look.   On the other hand, smart, rational women like my clients know that they must, at the risk of seeming shallow/vain or extravagant to constituents, have at least some styling (same has the men plus minimal eye make-up, blush and lip color), or…. yup, a Tweetstorm is a’comin.

I was also hired by Revlon to bring my team to an event hosted by Walgreens at their flagship store.  The invite-only crowd was made up of young, professional women, mostly lobbyists from the DC area, and they seemed to enjoy the pampering that the men in attendance were not privy to.  I will say that if you want a bright shade of lip color with a softly matted texture, the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color is a reasonable option.

Finally, I think Hillary’s make-up on the final evening was perfect: minimal eye featuring mostly liner and lashes, just enough cheek and lip color, and no overt attempt to obscure reality.

Switch to a CNN spot, wherein Donald’s national campaign spokesperson is wearing make-up like something out of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  I utterly missed her message because I was too fixated on her 4-alarm smoky eyes, bow-chicka-wow-wow lip gloss and “eyebrows on fleek.”  Honestly, I don’t think I missed anything, but you get the picture…. if you don’t, here it is.  The video, that is.  Full screen, please.

Expect more politically and socially-inspired posts until this wacky election season is over.   Less hope, more wisdom.